Spin Again Sunday Extra: The Flying Nun Game (1968)

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This month, I am honoring the premiere anniversaries of many classic TV shows. Check back frequently for episode recaps, fan magazine articles, special editions of Spin Again Sunday, and more. I will also be posting unique content on Facebook and Instagram.

The Flying Nun premiered 46 years ago today, on September 7, 1967. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the show. I’m kind of bitter than it ran for three seasons while Sally Field’s other show, Gidget, only lasted one. Now, Gidget was a cute show. And, despite its short life it spawned two games. Take that, Sister Bertrille.

Today’s Game: The Flying Nun Game.

flying nun box

Copyright Date: 1968.

Manufacturer: Milton Bradley.

Recommended Ages: 8 to 15.

flying nun board

Object: “Be the first to place Flying Nun cards on changing board spaces.”

Game Box: It’s visually appealing, with a pink background, jovial cartoon children, and a photo of Sister Bertrille flying over their heads.

Game Board: Colorful and cute, if a little busy. I like the flowers in the corners and the illustration of Sister Bertrille’s convent.

flying nun cards

Game Pieces: The games uses standard plastic pawns. Each player also gets six Flying Nun cards. These show Sister Bertrille playing baseball, playing the accordion, flying–typical nun activities.

flying nun board closeup

Game Play: As they say on Facebook, it’s complicated. Each player has her own track. On her turn, she can either roll the dice and move her pawn around the track, or she can play the top card in her deck of six Flying Nun cards. She can place her card on any board space that matches it but ONLY if someone’s pawn is in the lettered circle beneath that space. Each player also has a penalty card–playing that allows her to remove one of her opponents’ previously played matches. The first player to unload all her cards wins the game.

Bonus Feature:

Here’s an article about Sally Field from TV Radio Show, November 1967. The story itself is not quite as silly as the headline.

Spin Again Monday: The S.W.A.T. Game (1976)

For this week’s game, we return to the more innocent 1970s, when kids had no access to violent video games–just violent board games like this.

Today’s Game: The S.W.A.T. Game

Copyright Date: 1976

Manufactured By: Milton Bradley

Based Upon: The TV show S.W.A.T., which revolved around a police “special weapons and tactics” unit. Although its run barely exceeded a year*, the show spawned a number one hit song and a 2003 movie.

swat box

Game Box: The box features scenes from the TV show. Oddly, though, the box doesn’t mention that the game is based on a show. Maybe Milton Bradley hoped the game would have a shelf life that transcended the program’s run. Gun Count: 6.

swat board

Game Board: The board includes more photos from the show, plus a colorful logo and some cartoony urban settings, including a diner, a construction site, and a park. Gun count: 8.

A closer look at part of the board

A closer look at part of the board

Object: Be the first S.W.A.T. team to capture the culprit.

Game Pieces: Each player gets a truck and two matching cardboard pawns. The pawns can ride in the truck–sweet.

A yellow police car doesn't seem too authoritative.

A yellow police car doesn’t seem too authoritative.

The pawns feature sketchy line drawings of S.W.A.T. team members. Gun Count: At least two per pawn.

An all-plastic pawn is supposed to be the culprit, but my game doesn’t seem to include one. The previous owner did include some other random pawns in the box, including some castle-shaped plastic pieces that bear drawings of beefeater types.

I guess this guy could be the culprit, but he looks rather trustworthy.

I guess this guy could be the culprit, but he looks quite trustworthy.

Game Play: A spin of the wheel determines which numbered space the culprit will occupy. Each player rolls two dice–marked with the numerals 1, 2, and 3–and directs his truck around the track. Certain spaces provide entry to the board’s middle footpaths. When he lands on one of these spaces, a player can remove his team members from the truck. On his next turn, he rolls both dice and moves each of his team members by the count of one die. He captures the culprit by landing both his pawns on the red dot near the culprit’s hideout. To complicate things, the culprit changes hideouts after each game round.

Recommended Ages: 8 to 14.

Bonus Feature: Here’s the S.W.A.T. opening sequence with its memorable music. (The theme topped the Billboard Hot 100 on February 28, 1976). Gun Count: Enormous.

*Apparently, the show faced criticism for its violent content. Go figure.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

Charlie’s Angels

Planet of the Apes

Dragnet

Spin Again Sunday: New Adventures of Gilligan Game (1974)

gilligan box

Today’s Game: The New Adventures of Gilligan Game

Manufactured by: Milton Bradley

Copyright Date: 1974

Game Box: Eye-catching in lime green, with all the characters represented in cartoon form. I don’t know what made cartoon Ginger’s hair go white, but I imagine life with Gilligan includes many shocking experiences.

gilligan boardGame Board: Milton Bradley called this a “set-up and play” game. It doesn’t have a board, per se; a cardboard box insert serves that function. Some of the island’s topographical features fit into the insert, giving the game a 3-D look. This adds a bit of visual interest to what is a very basic game.

Recommended Ages: The box says 6 to 12, but I can’t imagine any over 8 enjoying this—or the cartoon, for that matter.

Object: Be first back to the hut.

Game Pieces: Standard plastic pawns.

gilligan board closeupGame Play: You just move your pawn around the “island,” according to your roll of the die. If you roll a six or land on a red space, you take a yellow card and follow its rhyming instructions—for example, “My-o My-o Me/You Can Go Ahead 3.”

Background: This game was not based upon the classic 1960s sitcom but upon the less-than-classic 1970s Filmation cartoon. This cartoon’s only real virtue was that it featured voices from five of the original sitcom cast members.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

Planet of the Apes Game

The Muppet Show Game

H.R. Pufnstuf Game

Family Affair Friday: Season 2, Episode 15, “Best of Breed,” 12/25/1967

Can you believe that networks used to air new episodes on Christmas night? This one isn’t even holiday-themed, although it does score high on the heart-warming scale.

Written by: Ed James. Directed by: Charles Barton.

Synopsis

Coming home from school, Buffy and Jody realize they have a stalker.

This little guy has followed them home.

This little guy has followed them home.

The twins want to take him inside, of course, but the building has a no-dogs rule.

Jody comes up with a quick solution to that problem--the rule won't apply if no one sees him going in.

Jody comes up with a quick solution to that problem–the rule won’t apply if no one sees him going in.

Buffy knows that even if they make it their apartment with the dog, they’ll still face a formidable obstacle–Mr. French.

The dog is dirty, and Mr. French doesn't like dirt.

The dog is dirty, and Mr. French doesn’t like dirt.

Undeterred, Jody wraps the dog in his jacket.

Scotty's distracted, so the kids manage to get the dog past him.

Scotty’s distracted, so the kids manage to get their bundle past him.

Upstairs, they sneak past French and head straight for the luxurious Davis bathtub. After the dog’s bath, Buffy observes, he will smell good and everyone will like him better.

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Jody: “Better than what?”
Buffy: “Better than if he didn’t smell good.”

Unfortunately, the dog escapes from tub before his bath is over. He heads straight for the living room and a close encounter of the French kind.

French accepts the dog's presence with the equanimity we've come to expect from him.

French accepts the dog’s presence with the equanimity we’ve come to expect from him.

“You will capture it and evict it post-haste,” he orders. Meanwhile the dog–which the kids have given the very creative name “Puppy”–is holed up in a cupboard.

Aww. I'm more of a cat person, but he is a cute little guy.

Aww. I’m more of a cat person, but he is a cute little guy.

Uncle Bill arrives on the scene, and the twins lobby to keep the dog.

Bill says his lease forbids dogs, so Puppy has to go.

Bill says his lease forbids dogs, so Puppy has to go.

When the kids point out that an upstairs neighbor has a French poodle, Mr. French explains that dog is a champion with an impeccable pedigree. As a good, red-blooded American, Bill objects to dog snobbery, but he doesn’t feel he can challenge apartment policy.

French is tasked with removing the dog, and his body language in this scene is an episode highlight.

French is tasked with removing the dog, and his body language in this scene is an episode highlight.

Puppy gets the last laugh, though.

He follows French back into the building, the elevator, and apartment.

He sneaks back into the building, the elevator, and apartment under the nose of an implausibly oblivious French.

Meanwhile, in a threadbare subplot, Cissy is dealing with snobbery, too. A high school social club, the Marvels, has selected her for membership. They won’t accept her underprivileged friend Ingrid, though.

Ingrid's mother--gasp!--takes in laundry. That explains why Ingrid looks so ashamed.

Ingrid’s mother–gasp!–takes in laundry.

Cissy complains to Uncle Bill about the Marvels. As a social club, he says, they have a right to accept or reject people as they please. He admires Cissy’s conviction, however.

Perhaps that's why his attitude toward Puppy softens when he realizes the dog has returned.

Perhaps that’s why his attitude toward Puppy softens when he realizes the dog has returned.

He agrees to approach the apartment manager about keeping the dog and to let the kids entertain Puppy in the meantime.

Taking their friend for a walk, the kids meet up with the building's French poodle.

Taking their friend for a walk, the kids meet up with the building’s French poodle.

The snooty kid walking the poodle says his name is Monsieur Cherbourg and he has earned 12 blue ribbons. He also responds to French commands.

The kids still don’t understand why Monsieur Cherbourg has a higher status than Puppy. French decides that taking them to a dog show will enlighten them on the importance of good breeding.

What follows is a tedious display of dog show stock footage.

What follows is a tedious montage of dog show stock footage.

The kids aren’t impressed, but the experience does inspire them to teach Puppy a few tricks.

Their approach is to demonstrate sitting and lying down for Puppy.

Their approach is to demonstrate sitting and lying down for Puppy.

They have limited success, but it doesn’t really matter. They return home only to learn from Uncle Bill that the apartment manager has vetoed Puppy as a tenant.

Bill promises to find a good home for Puppy.

Bill promises to find a good home for Puppy.

Once again, though, Cissy’s example gives him a change of heart.

She has invited several friends home--all Marvels rejects. They've decided to start their own club.

She has invited several friends home–all Marvels rejects. They’ve decided to start their own club.

Bill gets his secretary on the phone and tells her to make arrangements for him to host a dog show in the park. (I’ll bet that assignment made her day.) This dog show will welcome non-pedigreed pups, and real kennel club judges will preside.

All these dogs and kids must have made for a fun day for Anissa Jones and Johnnie Whitaker--and a long day for director Charles Barton.

Director Charles Barton must have loved dealing with all these dogs and kids on the set.

At the show, Bill tells French that he’s hoping Puppy will win a prize, which will give Bill more leverage with the apartment manager. French is surprised that Bill didn’t fix the contest outright.

Puppy succeeds on his own merits, though, winning Best of Breed in the Schnauzer/Poodle/Pekinese/Chihuahua categories and the overall championship.

Puppy succeeds on his own merits, though, winning Best of Breed in the Schnauzer/Poodle/Pekinese/Chihuahua categories and the overall championship.

French wonders why Puppy won in three categories (four, actually), then laughs when he realizes that Puppy is “a little bit of each.”

Returning to the apartment building, the kids inform Snooty Poodle Girl that Puppy is a champion.

Her mind is completely blown.

Her mind is completely blown.

Next, the family confronts the apartment manager. When he tries to differentiate between Puppy’s champion status and the poodle’s, Bill dares him to explain the difference to the kids.

Showing the weak will that plague his marriage to Harriet Oleson, the apartment manager caves.

Showing the weak will that plague his marriage to Harriet Oleson, the apartment manager caves.

(He’ll soon have his hands full dealing with other tenants’ ersatz pet show winners, I suspect.)

Buffy and Jody are thrilled that they get to keep Puppy.

The episode ends by driving home the point that all dogs are the same under the fur.

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Together, Puppy and Monsieur Cherbourd bark at a cat they spy through the lobby windows.

Commentary

This episode isn’t deep, but it has plenty of cuteness going on. The disturbing thing is that we will never see Puppy again. Best case scenario: He went to live in Connecticut with Rosie the horse. Worse case scenario: He took a Mrs.-Beasley-style swan dive off the terrace.

Continuity Notes

We get a Scotty sighting and a Miss Lee mention.

Guest Cast

Lewis: Richard Bull. Girl: Kym Karath. Mrs. Hobson: Gerry Lock. Scotty: Karl Lukas. Judge: Larry Thor. Ingrid: Terry Burnham.

Bull is best known for playing the beleaguered Nels Oleson on Little House on the Prairie.

Karath makes her second of three Family Affair appearances.

Lock kept acting at least through the early 2000s, mostly in parts like “Old Woman” and “Little Old Lady.”

This Week’s Bonus Feature

This week, I’m presenting another Family Affair collectible–a lunchbox from 1969, manufactured by King Seeley Thermos.

The front of the lunchbox features a birthday party scene. The party, with balloons, cake, and presents, is for Mrs. Beasley. That's not weird at all.

The front of the lunchbox features a birthday party scene. The party–with balloons, cake, and presents–is for Mrs. Beasley. That’s not weird at all.

The thermos displays the same scene.

The thermos displays the same scene.

The reverse side of the lunchbox shows Buffy and Jody playing in the park.

The reverse side of the lunchbox shows Buffy and Jody playing in the park. The picnickers in the background are probably Cissy and Uncle Bill, although the male figure isn’t remotely recognizable.

One side of the box shows Buffy, Mrs. Beasley, and Uncle Bill.

One side of the box shows Buffy, Mrs. Beasley, and Uncle Bill.

The bottom shows Buffy and Jody.

The bottom shows Buffy and Jody–hanging out under a bed?

This side is the worst. Buffy looks like a transvestite midget, and Cissy looks crazed. Worst of all, it reminds me of their musical number from two weeks ago.

This side is the worst. Buffy looks like a transvestite midget, and Cissy looks crazed. Worst of all, it reminds me of their musical number from two weeks ago.

Room 222 Call Sheet: A Day in the Life of a 1970s Sitcom

Room 222 call sheet, 1970

When it comes to collecting, I’ve always admired people who have a laser-like focus. I’ve been a collector all my adult life, but the resulting collection is eclectic, to say the least. Today, I present one of the more interesting pieces of ephemera I own—a call sheet from the sitcom Room 222, which ran on ABC from 1969 to 1974.

The call sheet is interesting to me, anyway. (The fact that I was the only one to bid on it when it appeared on Ebay 10 or so years ago suggests the interest might not be widespread. That worked to my advantage though—I only paid $2 for it.) It provides a fascinating window into television production in the 1970s.

A call sheet, as Webster’s defines it, is simply “a daily schedule of filming for a movie or television show.” This call sheet dates from August 7, 1970, when filming was under way for two season two episodes. “Adam’s Lib,” a feminist story about a girl trying out for the boys’ basketball team, would air October 14, 1970; “What Would We Do Without Bobbie?,” an ugly duckling story, wouldn’t air until December 23, 1970.

The “Adam’s Lib” scene featured three day players—Tracy Carver as the basketball player, Terri Messina as the feminist activist, and “Darrell Carson” as the boy who helps them advance their plan to infiltrate the boys’ team. According to the Imdb, the actor’s name is Darrell Larson, and he’s the only one of the three who has acted steadily since then.

Larson, Messina, and Carver

This basketball court scene was shot at a playground in Los Angeles’ Rancho Park neighborhood. The female actors had to arrive at 7 a.m. for makeup that day, with Larson arriving 30 minutes later. It looks like they met up at 8 a.m. on Stage 10, Room 222’s usual filming location on the Twentieth Century Fox lot.

The “Bobbie” scenes, filmed on Stage 10, required the presence of series star Denise Nicholas as Liz McIntyre, recurring actor Howard Rice as Richie, and day player Nicole Jaffe as Bobbie.  Once again, the women reported for makeup 30 minutes earlier than the male actor. This group got a more leisurely start to their day; filming didn’t start until 10 a.m.

Jaffe and Nicholas in one of the office scenes. You might not recognize Jaffe’s face, but you would know her voice. She was the original Velma on Scooby-Doo.

At the bottom of the call sheet, we get a glimpse at what the cast would be doing the following week—reading and rehearsing on Monday, shooting a Walt Whitman exterior scene at Los Angeles High on Tuesday, and shooting more studio scenes on Wednesday (including a scene outside the “Berman Bungalow,” which would represent Bobbie’s house.)

William Wiard directed the filming on this day. Mike Salamunovich was the unit production manager. Both had long and prolific careers in television.

Room 222 call sheet, 1970, reverse side

The call sheet’s reverse side details the day’s production requirements. Those requirement were modest on August 7, 1970. They didn’t need any birds, livestock, wranglers, registered nurses, or firemen—not even any coffee or doughnuts. They did need one Los Angeles policeman, a stretch-out bus, a crab dolly and grip, and a “dialogue man.” (The call sheet almost consistently uses “man” in its crew terminology—mechanical effects men, camera men, prop men, makeup men. The only exception is “body makeup woman.”)

This little piece of TV history delights me so much that it might have launched me on a whole new field of collecting. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any luck finding similar items.

To close, I present the Room 222 opening, just because I love the music and the fashions.

Carole Lombard, October 6, 1908-January 16, 1942

Carole Lombard was born on this date in 1908. I’ve always felt that, though she certainly had Golden-Age-Hollywood glamor, she also had a strangely modern quality–I can envision her as a 21st century movie star. Dell published this special magazine in 1942 after her death.